I can’t help but equate Valentine’s Day to falling in love with a home.
There has never been a home that I’ve staged that…after I’ve finished I don’t think to myself “I could live here.”
I tend to move-in to the home for a day…making it look it’s model-suite, showroom best.
Removing all signs of neglect, disorder and chaos and bringing in calm, appeal and serene, ensuring the prospective Open House visitors will fall in love.
Even tenants of the home have been known to say to me “Wow, I didn’t know my home could look like this.” I’ve affectionately been called the ‘house-whisperer’…bringing out the natural character of each home I stage. I focus on a few key elements:
Love At First Sight
A prospective homeowner’s first impressions start outside the home. Make sure the home has curb appeal. The entrance should be void of clutter, old dark curtains removed to allow the sunlight to filter in, nooks should be warm and inviting.
There’s an old adage that chefs cook with love and that others can taste the difference.
I stage with love so that others can sense the difference.
Love Thy Buyer
I don’t make any suggestions in a consultation until I’m clear on the most likely buyer of the house. When I’m clear it’s a lot easier to match those buyers to how I need to stage the house.
For example, if a home is aimed at parents buying for their university student kids then the bedrooms need twin beds and the unit needs a place to study and a large sofa and TV for ‘hanging out’ yet all staged in a modern way. Show the potential of an income property.
It’s said that that prospective home buyers “shop on logic but buy on emotion“. This is true of houses and soul mates.
You might think you want a brooding, modelesque, dark haired, athletic man but then a good humoured, slightly balding, arm chair athlete/renovator rocks your world.
When buying a home, a shopping list of features often falls by the wayside when a house ‘just feels right’. It’s my job to evoke those feelings and make that connection.
3. Tough love
Homeowners sell for various reasons: divorce, craving expansion, downsizing, lack of money, investment. I get that. I’m not there to ‘decorate’ for them…I’m there to make the home appealing for the prospective home buyer.
Shortly after entering a home and saying hello, I’m jotting down notes, opening cupboards (because they will), taking inventory of what has to come off the walls and what needs to be moved into storage.
Sometimes I have to tell them things the realtor doesn’t want to say. In the end, the realtor and homeowners know I’m there to help them move on, get their home sold quickly and for top dollar and that I have their best interests at heart and sometimes that may be perceived as tough love.
I want every prospective home owner to love the home…as much as I did for the day I moved-in.
May every day in your new home feel as special as Valentine’s Day!